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Legend has it that if you stand in front of a mirror in the dark and say "Bloody Mary" three times, you can summon the evil spirit of Mary Worth.
While all that sounds fine and festive, we're more keen on the Bloody Marys at the brunch table than those that vengefully appear in mirrors. But that's just us.
And Paul Corsentino, executive chef of The National and mastermind behind their Bloody Mary cart, just happens to mix up a gruesomely good variation.
Five Ways to Make a Bloody Good Bloody Mary: Paul Corsentino
2. "Premixed Bloody Mary mix doesn’t make the preparation process that much easier anyway, so why skip the step of including fresh juice? I love Clamato juice for its unique undercurrent of flavor. If you don’t want to squeeze your own tomato juice, try something like that and add your own additional ingredients like spices, herbs and citrus juices.
But, in this day and age, everyone should have a juicer - it’s an integral kitchen tool and one that, once you get it, you won’t be able to understand how you got along without it for so long. Squeeze your own tomato juice when tomatoes are in season - you won’t regret it."
3. "Fresh lime juice is key. Add anything else you want to the mix to pepper, sweeten, spice or freshen your tomato juice mixture but always - ALWAYS - use the juice of a fresh lime and, if you like it, fresh grapefruits or lemons.
Fresh juice is better for you: There’s no extra sugar or preservatives added and the flavor is brighter when it comes straight from the fruit."
4. "Don’t limit yourself when it comes to garnishes. I love to pickle vegetables when they are in season so that I can add them to my Bloody Mary concoctions when they are out of season. This fall, treat your guests to Bloody Marys with pickled green tomatoes, sweet peppers, carrots and chiles, in addition to the seasonless choices of cucumbers (traditional pickles) and onions.
I also love to add proteins such as beef jerky and shrimp to a Bloody Mary – the latter tastes like an edible shrimp cocktail."
5. "As far as I’m concerned if it’s not hot, it ain’t a Bloody Mary.
In addition to the traditional horseradish, I have been known to use hot chili peppers as garnish, mostly pickled to alleviate some of the burning mouth syndrome. You can also spice things up with fresh and powdered chipotle, tograshi or cayenne pepper. Give your guests options so that they can choose to raise or lower the heat factor as their tongue sees fit."
Here’s a recipe for my ultimate Bloody Mary:
Garnish with two cucumber pickles and a beef jerky stick.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
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